The Lok Sabha has passed the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016.
The Bill aims to establish a legal framework to consolidate the existing laws relating to the Admiralty jurisdiction of courts, Admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, the arrest of vessels and related issues. It also aims to replace archaic laws which are hindering efficient governance. The Bill confers Admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in Coastal States Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Odisha, Bureaucracy Today has learnt.
The bill was introduced in the House during the winter session of Parliament on November 21, 2016, by the Minister of State for Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya. The Bill came up for discussion in the Lok Sabha yesterday.
Mandaviya presented an overview of the Bill in the House, pointing out the needs for repealing five obsolete British statutes on Admiralty jurisdiction in civil matters, which are 126 to 177 years old. The Bill provides prioritization of maritime claims and maritime liens while providing protection to owners, charterers, operators, crew members and seafarers at the same time. During the course of discussion, 13 members presented their views and raised various questions which were replied to by Mandaviya. The Bill was then passed by the House.